Only a few months ago I walked past some pregnancy test shelves and thought to myself, wow that’s a period of my life that is now over. It was hard to comprehend that as pregnancy tests have been a very big part of my adult life.
I have had a tempestuous relationship with pregnancy tests. At the very beginning I was panic stricken, hoping they would come up negative as I wasn’t ready to have a child. After many years, it shifted to joy when tests came up positive, and then for a couple of years it was disappointment every time I saw the negative symbol.
I recognise that I was very fortunate that each time the tests came up positive I was happy with the result and ended up with two wonderful children.
I was very fortunate to have had two very straight forward, unproblematic pregnancies.
I was very fortunate to be able to make the decision about what I wanted to happen to/in my body.
I was very fortunate to be able to make the decision to go ahead with the pregnancies when the test came up positive.
When a pregnancy test comes up as positive, it is not always a joyous occasion. In some circumstances, that result brings pain to women. To further compound that pain, here in Ireland, women can not decide what happens to their body. They are forced to go through with a pregnancy regardless of whether or not they want to; and/or whether or not it is in their best interests.
It’s great that the Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, has finally committed to having a referendum over whether or not to Repeal the Eighth Amendment, this summer.
But it makes me mad that this has to go ahead at all.
I am mad that we as women do not have a say over what happens to our bodies.
I am mad that the women of Ireland are not trusted to make decisions about their own bodies.
I am mad, that people who should have no say in what a woman does to her own body will be deciding whether or not a woman can be the boss of her own body.
I am mad that this campaign will become ugly.
I am mad at the many lies will be put out there.
I am mad that people are saying women will use abortion as a form of contraception. Abortion isn’t a pleasant experience and women do not go into this decision lightly. They will not be using abortion as a form of contraception! If a woman decides that this pregnancy is not right for her, she should have every right to decide to end it.
I am mad that this is going to cause more duress for many women but I am also thankful.
I am thankful to those amazing women who have been fighting/campaigning to have the Eighth repealed.
I am thankful to those amazing and courageous women who have shared their painful stories in the hope that future generations of Irish women will have autonomy over their own bodies and not have to endure what they have had to.
I am also hopeful.
I am hopeful that the Irish people will get out and vote to repeal the eighth.
I am hopeful that my daughter will grow up in an Ireland that trusts its women and gives them back sole autonomy over their bodies.
So when it is time to vote, please make sure you are on the register and then go out there and vote for a woman’s right to choose. Vote to Repeal the Eighth.